How Much Nitrous Oxide Does It Take To Kill An Engine?

What’s the quickest way to double your engine’s power output? By injecting it with nitrous oxide. But beware, as the chemical compound could also kill it.

So, how much nitrous can a stock engine take? The guys in this video used a 305 ci (4.9-litre) Chevrolet small-block and pushed it well beyond its comfort zone. The mill itself comes with a cast crankshaft, and cast pistons, but in this case, it was fitted with a COMP flat tappet cam, EngineQuest Performance Vortec Heads, aluminum roller rockers – among other mods – including the two stage NOS cheater system.

When tested on the dyno (without the nitrous shot), the engine was good for 358 hp and 323 lb-ft. A respectable figure, to say the least, but when the “laughing gas” was added, things quickly turned from silly to right down serious.

Nitrous oxide has one atom of oxygen and two atoms of nitrogen, and when it’s sprayed into the combustion chamber it increases an engine’s power output by allowing it to burn fuel a higher rate (since the gasoline needs to be mixed with oxygen in order to burn).

As it turns out, the 305 ci can take a 150 nitrous shot with no problem, and even going up to 620 hp and 571 lb-ft of torque with the 250 shot won’t hurt it. But what happens when you use a nitrous system that’s capable of adding 500 hp over the engine’s original output? We won’t spoil this one, but rather let you find out for yourself.


  • SomeRandomCommenter

    Really good video. I learned a lot about nitrous systems watching it and it was pretty entertaining.

    • SteersUright

      Agreed. Cool video.

  • Vassilis

    Can you please spoil it because I’m bored of watching the video? Thanks :p

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      They did. Story told.

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